Sully: The Miracle of Tom Hanks
I want to hug Tom Hanks. His performance in Sully is perfection and I think it is so good that people won’t know how good it is. It is a subtle performance that commands respect and immediately makes you believes that Tom Hanks can do anything. What I love about Clint Eastwood directed films is how he allows his actors to shine. Between Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, American Sniper, Mystic River and Unforgiven we’ve been given some amazing performances and I think Eastwood’s acting first style creates some brilliant performances.
I loved every second of Sully and I appreciate how Clint Eastwood was able to take to the story of an absolute miracle and find humanity, tension and heart. I am still amazed that pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was able to land his plane on the Hudson river after double engine failure. No plane had ever experienced engine failure at just 2,818 feet in the air and 99% of the time the engine failure would’ve resulted in certain death. However, Sully and co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles calmly landed the massive plane on the Hudson river. All 155 passengers survived and the crew became overnight celebrities.
Eastwood’s film covers every angle of the water landing and focuses on the lives of the two pilots days after the miracle. Sully (Tom Hanks) and Jeffries (Aaron Eckhart) are thrust into the national limelight and become media darlings who are forced to relive the ordeal over and over for the press. Things go slightly awry when investigators releases the news that flight simulators successfully returned the damaged plane back to New York airports. What follows is an examination of doubt, friendship and great mustaches.
Sully is an elegant look at a conflicted man pondering if he did the right thing. Time vindicated Sully but I can only imagine the stress he went through as he ran every scenario in his hand. Tom Hanks is perfect in the role and I love how effortless he makes everything work. I bet it was really tough for Hanks because Clint Eastwood’s sparse style and need of only a couple takes must’ve forced him to bring his A++ game. The most pleasant surprise of Sully is Aaron Eckhart’s charming performance. I’ve always liked Eckhart and thought he was great in Thank You for Smoking. Now that I’ve seen him in Sully I’m annoyed that he spends his time making I, Frankenstein and London Has Fallen. He is so good in Sully that it is frustrating because you want to see him get better roles.
Go watch Sully. It is a beautiful film that puts characters first and features some of the best performances you will see all year.